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On Wednesday, September 29, Axios future correspondent Bryan Walsh discussed how companies and governments are integrating AI to modernize efficient systems in society, featuring Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto and Global GM (Smart Cities & Transportation) for IOT Solutions at Intel Sameer Sharma.

Mayor William Peduto spoke about how Pittsburgh’s universities have aided in the city’s R&D for AI, the importance of standards creation for algorithms, and how Pittsburgh has adopted AI technology into some of the city’s management systems.

  • On crafting standards for regulating AI security: “One of the industries that I think that really needs to be looked at and needs to start at a local level is how we can incorporate AI for good, in order to be able to understand what the rules and regulations should be for artificial intelligence as we consume it on a daily basis through social media and other means.”
  • On successful AI integration in Pittsburgh’s transportation system: “We began creating traffic signals that actually could learn, traffic signals that were created with algorithms and sensors that could make our streets safer, that could reduce idling time by 34%.”

Sameer Sharma explained how cities can harness AI to enhance public safety, the future of smart city initiatives, and how the pandemic shifted many cities’ public services to digital platforms.

  • On using AI to analyze vast amounts of data: “When you have this data tsunami and we are already in the middle of it, how do you make sense of it? That’s where the power of AI at the edge and in the cloud comes in, and it needs to be connected to an intelligent network.”
  • On how COVID-era digitization could boost smart city initiatives: “COVID was a very tough experience for us as a global community, but if there is one silver lining, it is that years of debate and discussion about digitization, digital transformation, has converted into months of action. And you clearly saw cities that were thinking ahead and had built some resilience and flexibility into their infrastructure were able to pivot quickly and provide these new services.”

Axios SVP of Product and Technology Melanie Colton hosted a View from the Top segment with Beyond Limits CEO and Founder AJ Abdallat, who discussed how AI is being applied to existing knowledge to solve complex problems.

  • “What we’re seeing and what we’re doing here at Beyond Limits is we see the evolution as AI will center around cognitive reasoning. This will enhance the numeric AI applications. This hybrid approach to AI allows us to really solve more complex problems, more challenging problems, by combining the data-driven approach with embedded human knowledge.”

Thank you Beyond Limits for sponsoring this event.

Go deeper

Updated Dec 9, 2021 - Axios Events

Watch: A conversation on data security in a hybrid world

On Thursday, December 9th, Axios Future correspondent Bryan Walsh explored the future of data security in a hybrid world and considered how to create a safer online ecosystem, featuring Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) and former Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency director Christopher Krebs.

Rep. Ted Lieu examined the weak links in government cybersecurity strategies, the presence of bipartisan agreement for stronger cybersecurity defense measures, and how to balance the benefits and threats posed by internet-connected smart devices in the home.

  • On increased government awareness of cybersecurity threats: “It’s pretty clear to me that we’re still way behind in terms of cybersecurity. I think the federal government is now much more aware of these threats. I’m pleased the Biden administration is taking it more seriously.”
  • On vulnerability disclosure requirements for federal vendors: “Something I understand about the federal government is we don’t really make stuff, we have private contractors make things. So when you have all these private contractors in the supply chain and when it comes to software and even hardware, if you don’t have vulnerability disclosures, those are weak links and people can go through these weak links and then attack the federal government systems.”

Christopher Krebs outlined how the pandemic’s accelerated digitization changed the nature of cybersecurity threats, the areas most vulnerable to a destructive cyberattack by an adversary, and how businesses should respond if they are faced with a ransomware attack.

  • On protecting critical infrastructure from disruptive cyberattacks: “That’s where the partnerships are important to ensure that the government is providing the appropriate support and guidance to those critical infrastructures, and at the same time evaluating where there may be some market failures and looking for opportunities for more regulatory steps. We’ve seen that with pipelines and railways and some of the other modalities of transportation.”
  • On how companies can improve their cybersecurity defense strategy: “I think what every organization needs to be doing right now, if they’ve had a prior ransomware event or not, is really think through what their strategy is...and look at what they can do right now. Multi-factor authentication, really hardcore identity management, segmentation across networks, backup recovery, make sure you have an incident response plan in place.”

Axios SVP of Product & Technology Melanie Colton hosted a View from the Top segment with ForgeRock CEO Fran Rosch, who conveyed how the increasing number of cyberattacks impacts companies and their consumers who largely operate online.

  • “Security continues to be a huge problem for companies. Fundamentally, we just think the internet is broken in a lot of ways from a security perspective. The usernames and passwords have now been around for over 60 years as the way that we identify and authenticate ourselves. It’s clearly broken as so many customers, so many consumers, use the same username and password as simple as possible across all their applications.”

Thank you ForgeRock for sponsoring this event.

1 hour ago - World

Biden will move U.S. troops to Eastern Europe "in the near term"

President Biden boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews on Jan. 28. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said on Friday he plans to move U.S. troops to Eastern European and NATO countries “in the near term.”

Driving the news: “Not too many” U.S. troops, Biden added in remarks to reporters at Joint Base Andrew upon returning from a trip to Pennsylvania. 

Updated 2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a potentially historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.